Bank of America’s Merrill Edge program for mass-affluent investors is branching out into a new area of service. The bank announced that it has introduced new capabilities to help parents and caregivers in mass-affluent families plan financially for the care of loved ones with special needs.

Most families want to plan financially for their children’s education and weddings, but for families with special needs children their focus is quite different, Alok Prasad, head of Merrill Edge, said in a telephone interview. The concerns of families with special needs children kept surfacing in conversations advisors were having with customers, he said.

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